Remembering Dave Batters
His friends, colleagues and former constituents are at a loss for words. Dave Batters, the 39 year old former Conservative MP for Palliser committed suicide after a battle with anxiety and depression this week.
Batters is being remembered as a man with an upbeat, positive outlook on life and someone who had a bright spirit. "He was dealing with a lot of issues and unfortunately he has taken this decision and my condolences go out to Denise and the rest of his family and I hope they can cope with this as best as they can", said Regine Qu'appelle Conservative MP Andrew Scheer.
While acknowledging the struggle Batters had been under, Scheer hopes there can be some positive out of this loss he says, one that can perhaps shine a light on mental health issues. "If there could be a positive, I think that could hopefully be one, people that are struggling with some of these issues, their family needs to understand the seriousness, and for the person suffering they need to feel they are certainly not alone".
Scheer and Batters shared a residence in Ottawa in the early days of their political careers that began in 2004. "I've got a lot of fond memories of Dave coming in late at night. He was a high-energy guy and he'd come in late at night having worked very long hours".
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he was saddened to hear of Dave's death. "Dave ultimately lost his struggle with severe depression, but we should use his loss as a reminder that mental health illnesses affect Canadians in every walk of life. Too often Canadians, such as Dave, suffer in silence out of fear of being stigmatized for their illness".